Israel’s Military Campaign Makes Iran More, Not Less, Likely to Negotiate with the U.S.

Sept. 12 2019

During a single week in August, Jerusalem attacked military installations belonging to Iran and its proxies in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. It seems to have struck Iraq again since then. Rejecting the explanation that these strikes are a cynical attempt by Benjamin Netanyahu to rally support in the weeks before an election, as well as the claim that they somehow make the Islamic Republic more combative, Steven A. Cook argues that such effective military operations increase Tehran’s willingness to compromise—perhaps far more than American economic pressure.

Earlier in the summer—before the Israelis stepped up their operations—the Iranians were busy sabotaging shipping in the Persian Gulf, shooting down an American drone, and seizing a number of tankers transiting the Strait of Hormuz. Now they are believed to be inching toward talks with the United States.

Of course, there are several reasons why the Iranians may be showing some new flexibility—the Iranian economy’s continuing struggle under sanctions being chief among them. That is certainly pressure, and perhaps they fear the consequences for internal stability [and thus] they are looking for some relief in the way of negotiations. It is certainly plausible; crippling sanctions brought the Iranians to the table before, producing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Still, it seems it is the combination of sanctions and Israeli military prowess that may . . . cow the Iranians into talks.

Welcome to Mosaic

Register now to get two more stories free

Register Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in now

Read more at Foreign Policy

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy

While Islamic Jihad Launches Rockets at Israel, Hamas Faces a Dilemma

Nov. 13 2019

On November 1, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), an Iran-backed terrorist group based in the Gaza Strip, launched a barrage of rockets at nearby towns in Israel. The IDF responded by striking military targets in the Strip and, yesterday, in the wee hours of the morning, killed Baha Abu al-Ata, one of PIJ’s senior commanders. The terrorist group responded by launching some 200 rockets over the course of the day, sending Israelis to bomb shelters not just in the immediate vicinity of Gaza but also in the center of the country and as far north as Tel Aviv. Khaled Abu Toameh analyzes the political calculations of both PIJ and Hamas:

Sign up to read more

You've read all your free articles for this month


Sign up now for unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror